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My sister's diabetic cat

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My sister and brother in law had to run to Ontario because his grandmother had a heart attack. She begged me to take on her diabetic 16 year old cat for a few days to a week. The cat is living in my spare bedroom and my sister went over the directions with me, but I have more questions now~! I don't want to bug my sister as they are obviously busy, so I figured I'd try here.

I am supposed to feed Rose one small can of cat food in the morning and wait til she has eaten most of it. But she is nowhere near finished the full can. It seems like so much food. My Mom said that I should stir it up every now and then as Rose doesn't like to eat squashed food. I guess at age 16 you can have some issues. After she has eaten as much as she is going to, I have to give her insulin shot. Not fun for me. She doesn't do much struggling, but she knows what is coming. Then I spend some time with her and pet her.

She is very overweight, but is a small cat and it just seems so odd to me to get her to eat so much. Is there a minimum amount a cat needs to eat before giving insulin?

At night I give her a half can and we go through the same scenario.

The actual shot giving is difficult for me as she has a definite fat layer, and it's tough to tell if the needle has gone far enough without going too far. Her fur is quite dense as well.

I guess after a few days I'll be less anxious.
post #2 of 4
Can you call your sister's vet for guidance?
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, our aunt is a vet and Rose came from there just before coming to my place. She had an antibiotic shot as they thought she might coming down with a bladder infection. My sister told me everything the vet told her, and I don't doubt that it's right. I'm just anxious about caring for a sick cat.
post #4 of 4
I have a diabetic cat myself, he's been diabetic for almost 6 yrs (get insulin twice a day).

Just for some added support, while you're caring for kitty, here is the link to very helpful Feline Diabetes Health Message Forum....the folks there are worth their weight in gold, very knowledgable about diabetic cats, insulin, etc etc.


Even though you don't want to bother your sister I'm guessing she likely wouldn't mind at all if you call her just to clarify how much kitty has to have eaten before you give the insulin........it's better to be on the safe side and check with her. The reason for this is that with most types of insulin, they start to work as soon as the shot is given......so to combat the insulin causing the cat's blood sugar to drop too quickly, the cat needs to have "food" in their system to balance everything.

I suspect too that kitty will likely eat better as the days pass; probably a big shock and sort of stressful to be in a new environment, confined in a room. If you can, go into the room and spend as much time with kitty as you can.....just petting her and talking to her, scratching underneath her chin, etc.

My diabetic cat is a big boy (18.5 lbs) so a good fat layer on him, too. You don't really have to worry about poking "too deep" if, when you're giving the shot, you pinch a good hunk of the skin away from the body, keep holding that hunk of skin, and then stick your needle sort of near the "base" (bottom) of that hunk of skin that's pulled away. The direction of the needle is kind of sideways INTO the hunk of bunched skin. Hope that explains it better?

Does your sister check kitty's blood sugar with the little machine?

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